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First Analysis | He partially moves his hands and has paralyzed lower limbs: yet he is a kart driver!

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28 August 2021

He partially moves his hands and has paralyzed lower limbs: yet he is a kart driver! Here is the extraordinary story of Vianney Chan Tsin (and his kart)


Thanks to the passion of some drivers and the experience gained by the French Federation since 2011 in the organisation of federal races for drivers with disabilities, indeed in France, during the OK and OK-Junior 2021 FIA Karting European Championship on the French circuit of Essay, the first race of the Handikart International Trophy was held, recognised by the CIK-FIA federation. It is a competition in which drivers with disabilities of different magnitudes compete at the same time on board karts adapted according to their needs. It therefore ranges from accessory manual controls installed on the kart steering wheel to much more complex systems such as specific levers that act as an accelerator/brake rather than the use of power steering to make steering less tiring which, as we know, requires a lot of strength and physical resistance of the arms on karts. To compensate for the different degree of disability between the various drivers, the Handikart sports regulations provide for a division into 3 categories that define, based on the amount of special equipment adopted on individual karts, a minimum weight (driver + kart):

H1 includes karts with special equipment – minimum weight allowed 170 kg
H2 includes karts with 2 special equipments – minimum weight allowed 166 kg
H3 includes karts with 3 special equipments – minimum weight allowed 162 kg

The French driver Vianney Chan Tsin competes in this latter class. In a road accident that occurred in 2003, he suffered injuries that left him in a state of partial tetraplegia with limitation to the use of the upper limbs and total paralysis of the lower ones  (injuries to the vertebrae C6-C7). Vianney competes in the Handikart aboard his 2018 Kosmic Mercury R kart (approval no. 49/CH/14) which, in the KZ version, we told you about in the article “Kosmic Mercury R, the 2018 KZ world champion kart”  in the “Under Examination” section of TKART. The kart has not undergone any structural changes and even the position of the seat has remained unchanged: equipped with a Rotax Evo engine  [1],the Mercury R by Vianney has different equipment that weighs about 14 kg in total, bringing the overall weight of the kart to 105 kg. Among these we find a particular accelerator/brake system (derived from cars) with manual control  [2], power steering  [3], 6-point belt, two bands with Velcro  [4]  to keep the legs together and limit their movement and a seat with a higher backrest  [5], compared to that of traditional seats, which supports the driver’s body more.

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